Eyemouth social enterprise set to benefit from philanthropist's legacy

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A legacy from a kind-hearted philanthropist is helping ensure a bright future for a Berwickshire-based textile company and its workforce.

ReTweed, based in Eyemouth, is an award-winning social enterprise operation delivering innovative training, skills development and access to employment through craft, design and technology training courses.

Since February 2017, ReTweed has been collaborating with retired architect David McGill of International Tartans to produce a range of products from his unique portfolio, producing “thematic tartans” for social and philanthropic good.

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Philanthropist Mr McGill died recently and he bequeathed all the rights and licences of International Tartans to ReTweed as he was anxious to support “social justice, regeneration and the promotion of community enterprise”.

Re-Tweed, giving women in Berwickshire opportunity to learn basic skills in craft, design and technology.Re-Tweed, giving women in Berwickshire opportunity to learn basic skills in craft, design and technology.
Re-Tweed, giving women in Berwickshire opportunity to learn basic skills in craft, design and technology.

His generosity is allowing ReTweed to take International Tartans forward for the social and economic good of Berwickshire.

The aim is to produce handmade ties, bow ties, plaids and shawls, waistcoats and scarves based on eight of Mr MGill’s thematic tartan designs – one of which was a ‘Purple Rain’ tartan tribute to music legend Prince.

On Thursday, members of Berwickshire Area Partnership will be asked to endorse a funding application from ReTweed for £4,900 in order to develop its website and marketing to promote the trading activity of International Tartans.

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In a submission with the application, a spokesperson for ReTweed said: “David has been a philanthropist throughout the last 30 years and his ‘Tartans for Africa’ collection was developed to facilitate community enterprise in Zimbabwe, Malawi and South Africa as well as strengthen ties between Scotland and 25 African countries.

“ReTweed has decided to grow International Tartans as part of our trade-up activities. The trading activities will support social good as well as providing employment for our graduate entrepreneurs within our business incubator; developing traditional heritage skills as they manufacture a full range of tartan products, providing a living wage for our entrepreneurs and trading income for ReTweed.

“The International Tartans project is going to be a fantastic asset that will help broaden the opportunities for employment and enterprise we can offer for our graduates as well as raising aspirations further in Eyemouth and Berwickshire.

“Having secured capital costs from South of Scotland Enterprise we are now seeking funding for our website to help us develop e-commerce, raise income and then distribute the income for community and social good.”